Jackson Square Factories

Financial District

Jackson Square Historic District

Jackson Square Historic District is not much of a player when it comes to tourist spots of San Francisco. But because of its central location, you might find yourself walking through the 142-acre historic neighborhood. So instead of seeing the run-down, old-looking buildings as a waste, try to appreciate Jackson Square Historic District for what it is — an interesting slice of San Francisco history.

Jackson Square Historic District — along with San Francisco — started with the Gold Rush of 1849, when the city grew from 800 to 25,000 people in one year. The neighborhood, which was the historic waterfront before the landfill of the San Francisco Bay, was the first commercial business district of the city.

Today, due to the neighborhood’s historic status, many of the buildings are protected from destruction.

The structures are not fancy, but they are smack-dab in the middle of town. If you’re walking near the Transamerica Pyramid, you’re around the Jackson Square Historic District — just look for the old, small factory buildings.

Hotaling Alley

And when you see them, think about San Francisco’s history. These 1850 and 1860 two-story storefronts were everything from businesses to bars to brothels in the growth days of San Francisco. They even housed famous San Francisco companies such as Ghirardelli Chocolates.

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Although it’s not the wacky-type-landmark most San Francisco travelers are used to, Jackson Square Historic District still has character. You can go enjoy a beer, walk through alleyways to view sights such as the Hotaling Stables and pretend you’re one of the boomtown residents of the Gold Rush days.

The bulk of Jackson Square Historic District is at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid.

Jackson Square Sculpture

How Do I Find Jackson Square Historic District?

  • The neighborhood is located on the edge of the Financial District and North Beach, near the base of the Transamerica Pyramid. Most travelers walk past the buildings without ever noticing their historical significance.
  • Use public transportation routes 1, 10, 12, 20, 41, the California cable car line, the underground K, L, M, T, J and N (to the Montgomery Street Station) and the F-Line. A short walk is required to reach the neighborhood after most of these routes.
  • To reach Jackson Square Historic District from Union Square you can ride many forms of public transportation, but most people just walk. Go through the Financial District to avoid the hills.

Jackson Square Historic District

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

A lot of Jackson Square Historic District has small, 2-story buildings. They’re the original buildings of S.F. — some of them over 150 years old. Head to the Old Ship Saloon if you want a few drinks.

Location of Jackson Square Historic District